It is essential to encourage children to explore different areas of interest while keeping them positively engaged during their adolescent years. Cayman is fortunate to have access to a wide range of free and low-cost programmes geared toward adolescents which can be found below.

Extended After-School Programmes

The Ministry of Education sponsors extended after-school programmes for public primary and high schools in every district. The programmes are free, operate from 3pm to 6pm weekly and include a rotating range of activities such as basketball, football, cricket, homework club, swimming, automotive workshops, archery and track and field. Transportation is provided by the school. Contact your child’s school to learn more.

Sports

Athletics

The Cayman Athletics Association is the governing body for athletics and they encourage participation in athletics at all levels regardless of age, gender or race. Training sessions are held daily in the afternoon at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex (TBSC) and the Association puts on several competitions per month from late December until mid-late June. In the summer months the local clubs compete abroad and the Athletics National Team compete at the North American, Central American and Caribbean Athletic Association and at the World Athletics level. Visit www.athletics.org.ky or email: gensec@athletics.org.ky for more information. You can reach out to 345 Athletics Club on (345) 925 2865, or Coach Porter at Speed Athletics on (345) 525 2793 or email: speedathleticstrackclub@gmail.com. You can also try Falcon Athletics at falconathleticsinfo@yahoo.com, the High Tech Tigers at coach@candw.ky and the Mustang Track Club at tajyen@hotmail.com. The Special Olympics Cayman Islands offers a variety of sports training for children and adults ages 8+ with intellectual disabilities. To learn more email: soci@candw.ky.

Cricket

Cayman Cricket organises competitions from May to June for primary and secondary schools (for boys and girls) and there are youth training sessions on Saturday mornings from 8.30am-10.30am at the Cricket Pitch. Email: president@caymancricket.ky.

Baseball

Cayman Islands Little League, operated by the YMCA of the Cayman Islands, teaches children aged 4-18 skills in baseball and softball. If you are looking for a safe environment emphasising teamwork, good sportsmanship, and healthy competition email: info@littleleague.ky, or visit www.littleleague.ky.

Basketball

After-school basketball training is available with the Cayman Islands Basketball Association for students up to 16 years. Practice takes place on Thursdays and Fridays from 3.30pm-5.30pm and costs CI$10 a month. Tel: (345) 916 5083, or email: info@caymanbasketball.org.

Football

Academy Football Club provides opportunities for families from different socio-economic backgrounds on a case-by-case basis by accepting assistance through fundraising and volunteering time in lieu of fees. Contact Paul Byles, Head of Youth Development on Tel: (345) 916 7389, email: admin@academysportsclub.ky, or visit www.academysportsclub.ky.

Karate

Students can try a free week of classes at Cayman Associated Schools of Karate (C.A.S.K.) at the Kings Sports Centre. Adolescents may be eligible for scholarships or financial assistance and can contact the Chief Instructor Greg Reid directly to enquire at Tel: (345) 925 3367, or visit www.caskcayman.com.

Netball

The Cayman Islands Netball Association (CINA) has a junior league and games are played throughout the year for under-12s, under-14s and under-16s. A membership fee of CI$5 is made once a year. Contact Lucille Seymour on (345) 916 1944 or via email: caymannetball@yahoo.com. For more information, visit www.caymannetball.com.

Rugby

The Rugby Club in South Sound runs a well-established programme for students up to the age of 18 with yearly membership fees of CI$100. Both girls and boys are encouraged to come down. Contact Caroline Deegan for more information on (345) 525 6743, email: caroline.deegan@caymanrugby.com, or visit www.caymanrugby.com.

Skateboarding

The Black Pearl Skate Park has grown into a bustling centre of activity for Cayman's children and teenagers. The dynamic course can be accessed for a daily fee of CI$7 and consists of beginner, intermediate and expert ramps. For more information visit www.blackpearl.ky.

Brownies

Personal Development & Leadership

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Cayman Islands is part of an internationally known youth mentoring programme serving children from ages 8-16 years old. Each child, known as a Little, is matched with an adult mentor. The Little and their Big meet regularly, with professional support provided by BBBS staff. For more information, call: (345) 326 0610 or visit www.bbbs.ky.

The Cadet Corps instils life skills and high standards of conduct through military-style activities. Three programmes are offered: band cadets, marine cadets and army cadets. The programmes could result in BTEC Level 2 qualification and/or honours in the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme. They accept boys and girls from the ages 11-19. For further information email: cadetcorps@gov.ky, or visit www.cicadetcorps.ky.

Girlguiding helps girls build their confidence, discover their full potential and make a positive difference in the community. The Guides cater to the 10-14 age group, and the Rangers are for 14-18 years. Girl Guides works hard to make their pricing as inclusive as possible for all members of the community. Visit www.girlguidingcaymanislands.ky for further information.

The Scouts Association is a non-formal educational programme which encourages the holistic development of boys through outdoor activities. From the Beaver-Scout programme (6-8 years) to the Cub Scouts (8-11 years) to the Scouts (11-19 years) boys will develop vital skills and earn badges. Groups meet weekly. Call Winston on (345) 939 8813 or email: ciscouts@candw.ky for more information.

The YMCA's Leaders-in-Training (L.I.T.) programme is offered to youth aged 13-17 years and runs during school breaks. Teens gain leadership skills and experience, while learning more about the Y's core values, making friends, building confidence and having fun. The programme is free for participants and requires an application and an interview. Call (345) 925 3276 or visit www.ymcacayman.ky for more information.

The TAYA Lounge is a free after-school programme run through the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre (email: taya@cicc.ky). It offers a safe and supportive environment for at-risk youths to develop life training skills, connect with peers and utilise the amenities. Visit www.cicc.ky for more information.

Kids enjoying activities at NGCI

Arts & Culture

The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands runs the Walkers' Art Club, an after-school Art Programme for ages 5-17. The classes are sponsored by Walkers and are free to attend. Register online at www.nationalgallery.org.ky.

Cayman Youth Choir runs a senior choir for ages 11-20 on Mondays at John Gray High School. The choir is sponsored by Cayman Arts Festival and there is no fee to join. No audition necessary, and open to all children and teens. Email: caymanyouthchoir@gmail.com, or call (345) 922 2079 for more information.

Time to Spare

Devoting time to a charitable cause is a valuable way to teach adolescents a sense of community responsibility. Cayman is very fortunate to be home to a large number of non-profit organisations and charities that assist different groups in need across the Islands.

The Cayman Islands Humane Society (Tel: (345) 949 1461 or visit www.caymanislandshumanesociety.com) is always looking for volunteers and is a great way for adolescents to get active through dog walking or helping with pet grooming and animal care.

Church Groups

Most churches in Cayman offer a Friday night youth group which are very popular. They provide a supportive environment for your adolescent’s spiritual development and encourage teenagers to actively support their congregation. The Cayman Islands Baptist Church (Tel: (345) 946 2422) boasts one of the strongest youth followings and their group often also participates in interesting field trips. Visit www.cibaptist.ky for more information.